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Everything posted by fm2176

  1. fm2176

    STAFDA 2018 News

    I haven't had time to really track anything, so this is news to me. Thanks for the update!
  2. fm2176

    DeWalt 040 battery light failure

    I've had one of these for nearly three years, and accumulated two more since then. One had a similar issue, though not as terminal in nature. It would sometimes blink when jostled. I gave it to my brother and since it was fortunately still under warranty he simply had it replaced. While LED work lights are much nicer than their incandescent predecessors, but one frustrating thing is that most of them are designed to be unserviceable by the end user. Ten years ago, the bulky and awkward (by modern standards) work lights merely required a spare bulb or two. Now, with all the electronics and permanent LEDs, they seem to have a bit less durability in many cases (I'm talking about regular kit-style work lights, not the more specialized and toughened special models). Regardless, I hope you're continuing to enjoy your light, and that you have no issues with the new one.
  3. fm2176

    Sears Files for Bankruptcy

    Well, Sears has filed for bankruptcy: http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/sears-files-for-bankruptcy-mired-in-debt-and-deserted-by-shoppers/ar-BBOonxR?ocid=ientp I know we've been forecasting this for quite some time, but Sears may be gone sooner rather than later. According to what I've read, there are still some who are cautious optimistic that Sears will stick around, but others think it will only last as we know it through the holiday season. The nostalgic side of me is saddened by the thought of a store my family shopped at for decades simply ceasing to exist, but then again this isn't the first time such an instance will have occurred. Montgomery Ward preceded Sears' decline, while more specialty big boxes also no longer exist. Thirty years ago, Circuit City and Toys R'Us were juggernauts in the electronic and toy retail sectors (respectively), and the retail landscape was vastly different prior to the internet becoming so omnipresent. So, what does this mean for us? Almost nothing, really. When was the last time anyone here even stepped foot inside a Sears? For me, it was probably last year, when I visited the Columbus, GA Sears prior to it closing. I picked up some discontinued DeWalt safety footwear for cheap (the fact that it seems to have been discontinued for a couple of years at that time yet was still in stock speaks volumes about the store's sales) and walked through the tool section, feeling melancholy as I realized it might be the last time. Let's face it, though, those of us who frequent home improvement stores, supply houses, online retailers, or myriad other sources for tools and supplies are unlikely to even notice if Sears ceases to exist.
  4. fm2176

    Sears Files for Bankruptcy

    I don't exactly stay abreast of the latest business news, but based on a few sources, it seems that Best Buy is considered to have had a revival of sorts. A few years ago they were in dire straits but have reversed and are actually pulling a profit again. JC Penney was mentioned in a few articles, but the consensus seems to be that they will gain from Sears' current situation. They are, after all, one of the few national mall anchors left.
  5. fm2176

    Blinded by Brand Loyalty

    Before I begin, let me recognize the fact that many of us here and on similar forums are somewhat receptive to owning tools from different brands, being capable of recognizing that the "best" isn't always proprietary to a favored tool brand. Also, though this thread will naturally concern tools in general and power tools in particular, a representative example of how close-minded some people are can be had in the endless debates on which truck brand is best. Ford guys stick to Ford, GM to GM, Dodge to Dodge (or Ram to Ram I guess nowadays), etc. So, how many of you have met someone so blinded by loyalty to a certain brand that they refuse to acknowledge that sometimes that brand comes up short? Such consumers sometimes waste tons of money on products that receive poor reviews or that are inferior to offerings by competing brands (sometimes even at lower cost), yet become rabidly defensive when confronted with facts or differing opinions. In this thread I'll share my thoughts on a few of these types of individuals as well as their potential motivations for staying loyal to their preferred brand at all costs. First, a couple of valid (IMHO) reasons: 1) Wanting to restrict the number of cordless tool platforms: cordless tools take batteries which can be quite expensive and which usually require separate chargers between brands and/or voltages. Even if a tool company doesn't offer the absolute best tool for the job, necessity sometimes dictates that a slightly inferior tool is purchased for the sake of battery compatibility. For example, a company that runs M18 tools might not desire to buy DeWalt nailers, even though they seem to perform better than Milwaukee's current offerings, since doing so would incur additional costs to buy and maintain batteries for those. Another example might be considering whether or not to buy a FlexVolt circular saw when one already has 20v Max. Sure the FV battery can be used with existing 20v Max tools, but the reverse isn't true, making the jump into the new system pricey if only one tool is to be purchased. 2) Availability: the availability of tool brands is subject to a person's location. In some areas, one brand may be easy to obtain while another may be impossible to find locally. Add in factors such as authorized repair centers and other customer service aspects of ownerships and use, and the effect that a brand's availability has on loyalty is evident. While home improvement centers have made common tool brands readily available in most areas, they have also limited that same availability to an extent. Consider Home Depot's two proprietary brands, Ryobi and Ridgid. Both have a loyal customer base that swears by the tools, with the former appealing more toward novices with some definite professional use and the latter sometimes considered an underrated brand that competes with premium brands. Both are only available at Home Depot, however, limiting owners of said brands to shopping there in person or online. This has the opposite effect of limiting those brands' appeal to tool users who might otherwise be interested. As a Milwaukee owner, should I buy the fan that my local hardware store carries and have instant gratification? Or should I order a Ridgid version, wait for it to be shipped, and have to use the internet if I have any issues with it? I had the opportunity to expand into Metabo tools for cheap a couple of years ago, but passed on it as I knew that I'd be unable to find additional tools and accessories locally once the supply ran out. Now, on to some less logical reasons: 1) Country of origin (COO): let's face it, few tools, and fewer power tools are domestically manufactured anymore. Yet some people may point towards COO as a reason to only buy one brand while ignoring another. I have a large number of DeWalt tools and often point out that some are assembled in the US. I usually add the fact that some others are made in Mexico but most are of Chinese origin. Why? Because I'm misinforming people who are less familiar with tools if I imply that DeWalt produces all of their tools here in America. I've read comments around the internet from people slamming Milwaukee because of its parent company while praising DeWalt for supporting the local economy. Some people even confuse a brand's name with its COO; I'm sure some of you have met a person who though Milwaukee tools were made in Wisconsin. The same holds true for Bosch (German), Makita (Japan), and other brands whose names denote the country they were originally founded in. For better or worst, the majority of power tools are sourced from mainland Asia now, regardless of whether the name sounds American, German, Japanese, or Ethiopian. 2) Tenuous claims: most companies market their tools as being superior to other brands, often using data that is skewed to put them in the best light. Some people fall victim to this tactic, considering x brand to just be better than y brand because the packaging says so. Amusingly, these same people are quick to call foul when another brand claims to offer something "their" brand doesn't. Since I've mainly covered brands that most of us recognize as solid performers, I'll pick on the perennial whipping boy of tool retailers: Harbor Freight. Harbor Freight seems to rely a lot on having the best prices, often coupled with deep discounts making good deals absolute bargains. In turn, they gain a lot of loyal fans who stop there before even considering another retailer, since they just assume that no one can beat them. This tactic has doubtlessly led to decent sales on their newest cordless tools despite the fact that more tried offerings from the likes of DeWalt and Milwaukee can be had at little, if any, more cost. I can't name how many times I've heard someone lavishing praise on Harbor Freight while dismissing the very thought of paying a little more for a lot more quality. Deceptive ads comparing tools and accessories to name brands costing much more leads people to believe that they are getting more for their money. In some cases, yes. In many, no. 3) "'Cause I said so": this is akin to the truck brand argument touched upon in the opening paragraph. Some people just allow their experience and pigheadedness to make them oblivious to reality. I have owned DeWalt and have had no problems with their cordless tools. I also own Milwaukee (albeit much fewer tools) but have an issue with the trigger on an impact wrench. Should I sell my red tools and badmouth the brand as producing substandard garbage? Of course not. Should I place both my yellow and red tools on a pedestal and declare them vastly superior to all tools because they are mine? No, most major tool brands, even lesser tiered ones such as Porter Cable and Ryobi, offer exceptional value to customers, and no amount of he said, she said will change that. In other words, let our experiences enlighten us, but we should never refrain from trying out something different if we need to. 4) "It's the best, why buy less?": this can sometimes be justified by the want or need to restrict platforms, but if we find ourselves buying a $300 tool for a one-off project because it is red, when a green one can be had with battery and charger for half the price, we might be drinking too much Kool-Aid. This is the most subjective entry on this list as it really does depend on a number of variables, but it could be viewed as compromising versus not doing so. Brand loyalty sometimes finds us choosing a certain tool not because it is truly needed but because it is the best compromise (even if it is overkill) and it's offered in our favorite color. If I need to drill a few holes in masonry but lack a hammer drill, do I buy the M18 Fuel SDS-Plus, or consider the much less expensive Ryobi? If I'm going to use it more than once, maybe. If I'm not even certain I'll keep it afterward, why waste the money? Ultimately, we decide what is worth spending our hard earned money on. Brand loyalty can be advantageous to our bank accounts but it can also drain them. In a similar manner it can make us appear to be snobs, or worse fools, especially when two hardheaded people with different opinions start arguing over whose tools are better. I guess it's all part of the joy in having so many options available, though; maybe it's me who is the fool writing such a lengthy post about this.
  6. fm2176

    Harbor Freight

    In addition to the above advice, I'd urge a potential buyer to confirm model numbers before making a purchase. A lot of their products have multiple item numbers. A couple of years ago I was considering buying a wooden work bench (I never did, though). It had extremely mixed reviews, then I found a few reviews that stated there are two model numbers, one with mostly positive experiences and one with mostly negative ones. The "free" tools are usually worth the price. The exception to this is if you end up being lured into buying that expensive tool you realized you can't live without that is now 50% of the "regular" price. Walk in for a free flashlight, walk out $100 poorer. As for me, I generally buy nitrile gloves there and pick up the free batteries when I do. That way I have a constant supply of cheap batteries for toys and remotes as well as decent disposable gloves that they sell in a few different thicknesses. Also, notice the two different tiers of tools: the mostly garbage Pittsburgh and the mixed bag Pittsburgh Pro stuff. A $5 Pittsburgh socket set will be noticeably less refined than its costlier Professional counterpart.
  7. As a broke young soon-to-be father when I got my first job turning wrenches some 21 years ago, I viewed Craftsman as "good enough" for professional work but tailored for the DIY sort. My older brother had been a mechanic for a number of years and swore by Snap-On and other truck brands. My father was a life-long trucker who had his share of Craftsman hand tools. I took his approach to retail priced tools while slowly amassing some truck brands that had been either repossessed or traded in to the dealers. In the dying years of Sears' omnipresence, I was in a Hometown Store around the holidays. An older gentleman (I'd guess to be around 70) was chatting with a clerk about all the holiday sales and how "you can't beat [the quality and value of]Craftsman tools". More recently, and pertaining to attitudes about modern cordless tools, a former coworker and I were talking tools. He's exceptionally intelligent and, seeing how much I talked about new tools he kept asking me if I were a "Dewalt Guy". When I started talking more about my Ridgid and Milwaukee tools, he admitted to knowing little about tools and that, when in need of a drill, he has a lone Porter Cable drill. It was cheap, he knew little more than that Black & Decker markets to entry-level buyers, and he decided to go with a brand that carries a bit more weight. Subjectively speaking from my own opinions and those conversations, I think that Craftsman or Porter Cable could fill the same niche, but that continuing both will only confuse uninformed buyers. Given the decades of brand familiarity that even the younger consumer has with Craftsman, I feel that Porter Cable would gradually slide into obscurity. After all, Craftsman is what my grandfather owned, and what today's generation (I have adult children) recognizes as what "Dad" uses. I've said it before, but a close friend even bought into the 19.2v line because of the "Die Hard" batteries. My generation watched Sears' dominance rapidly fade, but we still remember when Sears was the place to go for tools, batteries, and appliances, leaving a lasting imprint which I feel would motivate us to pay homage to our forebears, so to speak. Unless our parents were die hard (no pun intended) woodworkers or such, however, Porter Cable was rarely seen...at least in households I grew up around. In short, I agree with the three-tier approach. If they insist on keeping all the brands, then so be it, but they should specialize certain brands and offer compatible batteries. Every brand might offer the basics (drills, drivers, and maybe saws), but leave more specialized tools to certain brands while selling only one brand from each tier in most stores. For example, they could keep the Wal-Mart Bostitch and Black and Decker but have interchangeable batteries between the two. Craftsman could specialize in automotive tools and saws while Porter Cable could offer routers and sanders. In a sense they already do this, as Dewalt and Mac use the same batteries; even so, Mac offered more options for automotive tools until recent years while never releasing things that a typical mechanic doesn't use professionally.
  8. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    I have a couple of the Bluetooth speakers, and saying they don't get loud is an understatement. In the right areas, such as a smaller room, they are decently loud, but otherwise they simply...suffice. I keep one in my truck to listen to streaming audio from my phone on my commute to work, and at 65-70 mph on the interstate it can sometimes be drowned out by road noise. Otherwise, however, I have been impressed with the speakers. If I want something louder there's always the TS Music + Charger. I'm fairly certain the one that sees the most use has a blown speaker, though, as it emits a rattling sound with certain types of audio. Guess I should check the date code to see if it's still in warranty.
  9. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    I enjoy using mine. In store they are located with the staple guns, so they may not even be in the tool aisle. Most stores don't seem to stock them with the other Ryobi One+ tools.
  10. fm2176

    Cordless drill batteries

    Ridgid has some nice tools, but nowhere near the number that Ryobi offers. The Lifetime Service Agreement is outstanding, though, but be forewarned that it only applies to batteries purchased with kits. For example, two of my 4Ah batteries are covered, as they came with a kit, as are all three of my 2Ah batteries, which were part of starter packs (battery and charger kit). My other four 4Ah batteries are not covered, however, since they were purchased in 2-packs. You'll hear some horror stories of the LSA registration process, but either Ridgid has refined this, or the naysayers weren't doing something right. I've registered at least 15 Ridgid products with only two getting kicked back. Each time I simply scanned or took a photo of the receipt and submitted it online.
  11. "Why isn't this in the DeWalt section" you ask? Because despite DeWalt supporting a few stagnant and arguably dying/already dead systems (12v XRP, 14.4v XRP, 18v XRP, and some will definitely argue 12v Max and perhaps 8v Max), the brand itself is going strong with 20v Max and Flexvolt continuing to grow. Instead, this thread is a commemoration of sorts for those cordless systems that are no longer with us. Feel free to bring up the good, the bad, and the ugly about those nearly forgotten (perhaps for the better) tools that some of you made a living with in years past. I traded in cordless tools for pneumatic tools pretty quickly, and then traded those in for an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and later an M4 carbine. Regardless, I remember two systems, one used professionally and one used around the house: the Black & Decker UniVolt and the B&D 14.4v NiCad. The UniVolt was used when I was a kid of 17, working for my girlfriend's uncle fabricating and installing FlipClean gutters (we made the hinges out of custom aluminum stock with lots of fun toys like a bandsaw, lathe, drill press, and tumbler). We had both B&D and DeWalt drills and batteries in at least 7.2v, 8.4v, and 9.6v, and everything was cross-compatible if memory serves me right. In fact, I still have my old drill with two batteries and charger in the metal case and have been meaning to grab it since there isn't a whole lot of info online. For heavier work we had a 12v hammer drill, but the UniVolt covered most of what we needed. A charger was always plugged in and plenty of fresh batteries were kept on-hand; it became standard practice for us to carry an extra since they liked to die at the most inopportune times, like when you were at the top of a ladder, with the gutter at the perfect pitch. Good thing I usually prepped the gutters and downspouts on the ground and left the others hang them. The B&D 14.4v may have never been a system. I don't know, it may have only powered a handful of standard drills with no other tools being released. I picked up a neat retro drill, the RD1440K, for cheap and it met my needs well enough that I left a somewhat glowing review on Amazon seven years ago: https://www.amazon.com/Decker-RD1440K-Anniversary-Cordless-Driver/dp/B00006FX9U/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 If I had to do it again, however, the review wouldn't be quite so good. Hindsight is always 20/20 and while NiCad was the best thing going when I purchased the drill, by the time I left the review some manufacturers were releasing lithium-ion batteries for their tools. Looking back, each time I had to use it the battery would be dead. After confirming that the nice silver battery that came with the drill was dead, I picked up three more batteries on clearance at Walmart, found the charger had died and made another trip out to buy the multi-voltage charger. As I was starting to learn a little more about tool systems, I made a point of charging those batteries every few months until...I stopped. Honestly, I don't even know where the drill is. I'm pretty certain it's in storage and the batteries are probably dead. With its unique look, it will be a wall hanger like the UniVolt. As stated above, my experience with cordless tools has been brief until recently. I look at what I currently own and wish I had such tools doing gutter work, framing houses (I was the cut man, and a cordless saw would have been nice), or repairing vehicles and equipment. That said, I know that some obsolete or almost gone systems made a lot of money for some of you in the past. My disabled brother probably looks back fondly to his days using DeWalt 18v XRP to earn a living doing a variety of work. He finally got a 20v Max drill/impact combo earlier this year, so I gave him an 18v adapter, a couple of 1.5Ah batteries (OCD? I only want XR batteries, kind of like how I only want Fuel and not regular M18 tools), and some other goodies like a ToughSystem radio. To think, one day we'll all probably be thinking of 20v Max and M18 in this same light.
  12. fm2176

    Time Off?

    So, what do all of you do during your time off? I'm currently on leave and trying to find stuff to stay occupied with until I start moving next week. The in-laws' house needs a lot of work but unfortunately my father-in-law is slipping into dementia, meaning that almost anything I do to improve the house is met with disapproval as it's not how he remembers it. I've been trying to do a few things here and there but major work will have to wait until the inevitable.
  13. fm2176

    Tool Box for the Garage?

    Well, I'm at the new unit, relearning my way around Northern Virginia and about to start moving stuff from storage to the house this weekend. With my ragged old Mac and Craftsman boxes still residing in Georgia storage units, I want to pick up a shiny new box for the garage. The Harbor Freight 44" box gets a lot of positive reviews, but I'm considering the DeWalt or Milwaukee combo at Home Depot. Anyone have any of these boxes? Comments, suggestions, anything else?
  14. fm2176

    Lego my Ego

    After being somewhat disappointed by reviews of the DeWalt 20v Max mower, not to mention it's lack of local availability (supposedly it's very similar to the 40v Max version, of which displays at Lowe's prove to be well-built, if no better in terms of runtime), I pulled the trigger on yet another platform--Ego. Having had the 21" mower for a few weeks now, I'm very impressed with it, and am considering the backpack blower since my large DeWalt blower is buried in storage and a spare battery would be nice. As it stands now I don't plan to replace my DeWalt trimmers and chainsaw, but suffice to say that Ego has a new fan.
  15. fm2176

    Asbestos.... Its back

    Here's a slightly different view: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.slate.com/business/2018/08/the-trump-administration-is-not-bringing-back-asbestos.html I just love how every facet of life has been consumed by politics for the past couple of years. My Commander-in-Chief has my full support if for no other reason than being the whipping boy for seemingly everything these days. Hell, my wife and kids are as fervently against the POTUS as anyone. I avoid political discussions with them and definitely don't want to be subjected to such opinions here. It's been a long week and I have to attend a memorial service this evening, so forgive me if I seem thin-skinned, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who visits the TIA forums for apolitical discussions. To the OP, thanks for sharing as I hadn't heard about this.
  16. fm2176

    any info on the new tough system radio?

    I'll wait to find a deal... I paid around $240 for three ToughSystem radios and only have one (Craftsman) T-Stak, so $219 is a bit too rich for my tastes at the moment.
  17. So, I just tested out the Ryobi glue gun and have to say, I'm impressed. However, I had the spare battery sitting next to a Ridgid after just moving a few DeWalt 12v Max batteries and found myself interested by how different TTI (Milwaukee, Ridgid, Ryobi) and SBD (DeWalt, Porter Cable, Bostitich, FatMax, Black & Decker) battery designs are. TTI 18v batteries are vastly different in design. Ryobi uses a stem battery to ensure compatibility with even the oldest One+ tools; Ridgid uses a slide-on style that also allows compatibility with older tools but which creates a larger base for drills; and Milwaukee uses a more streamlined slide-on pack that replaced the V18 battery system. None of these batteries are remotely compatible with each other. SBD, on the other hand, seems to take a more familial approach in battery design. Their various battery systems are not designed to be interchangeable, but it seems that many people have converted Porter Cable batteries or tools to permit their use with B&D, or vice versa. The contacts may not line up, or there may be more or less in various brands, but overall the batteries look very similar. I recall looking at some B&D 12v Max stem batteries when I had my Porter Cable 12v Max tools and finding that the only difference was which side a plastic tab was on. Everything else seemed identical, and I found some testaments to their interchangeability online. Then too, there are the similarities in cross-voltage battery systems with SBD. DeWalt is the most blatant example of this, having chargers and accessories which work with either 12v Max or 20v Max batteries. In my mind, this was a precursor of sorts to FlexVolt, which (as all the regulars here know) can power not only the 60v and 120v tools but also most of the 20v system--barring those tools which have small batteries compartments, such as some radios. Anyway, my theory is that TTI had a unique theory when designing the tools they produce. Ryobi was seen as a stalwart holdout and, lacking the need to attract those with demanding needs, has been given increasingly newer battery technology in a system that is far older than any other mentioned here. Ridgid, being the middle offering, was also relegated to keeping its form factor, which is more in line with modern designs. Milwaukee, meanwhile, was intended to be the leader in innovation, technology, and naturally price. This caused them to adopt a battery format that many of us would consider modern (slide-on, more compact than earlier slide-on designs such as Ridgid's or Porter Cable 18v) and stick to it even as technology has progressed far beyond what many of us might have forecast. I think that SBD, however, wished to modernize all of their brands with smaller format batteries, keeping them largely the same. I can imagine that they found reduced production costs by having some of the older batteries share many components (i.e. PC and B&D 12v Max), and decided to stick with that business model. Besides this, their brands' offerings have always been less diverse than TTI's, with the exception of DeWalt and arguably Porter Cable (which might have matched Ridgid's diversity at one point). Speaking of DeWalt, I feel that they found a decent 20v Max battery design from the get-go and gradually realized that their 12v tools aren't that much smaller or lighter than compact 20v versions. All told, I find that DeWalt and Milwaukee batteries are very close in size, from 2Ah to 5Ah to 9Ah FV/HD. Ridgid tends to be a bit larger, but Ryobi is relatively massive, with their 3Ah nearly the same size as a DeWalt 6.0 XR. Despite, or perhaps due to this, I enjoy all three of the more expensive brands, while looking forward to putting the Ryobi tools through their paces. What are your thoughts?
  18. So, I stopped into my semi-local HD this morning in hopes of scoring a third Ridgid cordless router. The one I left two weeks ago was gone, though, so I settled for a $50 Milwaukee Rover light and a few pairs of clearance eye protection. My plan is to have both eye pro and ear pro (picked up four sets of Holmes ear muffs a week or so ago) near at hand for all of my bench tools once I set up my shop--either in a couple of months or worst case when I move back to my house after retirement. Coupled with what I already own and what the Army has issued me (which I get to keep as it can't be reused), I should be set on PPE for life, to include gloves but with the possible exception of face shields. I picked up the last 3Ah Ryobi starter kit and tried to justify buying it, but I just don't need anything I'd have gotten for free right now, and put it back for someone who needs it more. If I need the drain auger or another tool I don't have in the next two weeks, I'll take advantage of the Ryobi Days special then. Anyway, I came close to buying another Green tool. I noticed this particular store carries the pin nailer and narrow crown stapler, both of which would be of quite some use in the coming months, as I actually undertake projects instead of simply amassing tools. At $129 for the bare tool pin nailer, and $139 for the stapler, though, I decided to wait for the time being. A promo or sale is sure to pop up eventually. The cordless brad nailer is on sal for $99 now, which is tempting, but in a rare moment of discipline, I decided to pass in favor of my pneumatic DeWalt, especially since I power it with the cordless Ridgid compressor (I have a DeWalt pancake compressor that has yet to even be plugged in...one of these days...). All of that rambling leads me to my question: have any of you used the Ryobi One+ cordless pin nailer or narrow crown stapler? Are they worth it for DIY/handyman work, or should I look toward pneumatic alternatives to use with the Ridgid and/or DeWalt compressors? I have the DeWalt 16 gauge finish nailer and like it for everything besides its price, but now that I'm invested in Ryobi I like the concept of saving money for future fastening tool purchases.
  19. fm2176

    new DCN21PL cordless 21 degree nailer

    9 gauge, according to this site: https://www.thomasnet.com/articles/hardware/screw-nail-sizes Your question piqued my curiosity on conversions.
  20. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    Picked up the M12 inflator and soldering iron, along with the Klein 7-in-1 nut driver today.
  21. fm2176

    Why Milwaukee? Why Not?

    In a similar vein to the DeWalt thread, I figured I'd ask the same questions here. What drove you to decide for or against Milwaukee when making that initial tool purchase? I only spent a little over a year forgoing Milwaukee deals after deciding that the Yellow "20v" tools were what I'd replace my obsolete cordless system with. To be honest, I'd already been partially brainwashed by the regular content on here and other sites. I knew that I couldn't really afford multiple systems, before becoming a Drill Sergeant left me with no hobby other than looking for deals on my rare time off (and with more disposable income than I normally had due to the long work hours and lack of social activities). With my willpower weakened, and after wanting a rotary hammer for months (passing up a corded Yellow model for 50% off a month or two earlier), I waltzed into my local HD and saw a clearance table. On it lay a 2713-20 Fuel rotary hammer for 75% off, with a 5.0Ah starter kit for 50% off next to it. I passed it, went back, walked away, and went back again, buying both for around $130 plus tax. That was all it took, and though I've (mostly) refrained from buying multiples of tools in different brands, I now own more than a few Red tools that clash nicely against all the Yellow.
  22. fm2176

    Used Tires

    Just a precautionary tale... Shortly after becoming a Drill Sergeant my truck started having a "death wobble", prompting me to begin replacing the suspension components as I had time. Two years later, I need only to replace the control arms and ball joints. The death wobble is long gone, though. Anyway, in need of an alignment, I decided to simply go with used tires until my Drill time was over and I could maintain my truck as I used to. Upon wearing out the front tires, I began replacing them, with about a 66% success rate until yesterday. The first tire I bought was fine, the second broke its belt a couple of weeks after getting it, and the third worked well enough until I had it mounted on the spare rim yesterday. Which leads me to the focus of this thread. My move was a mess, as the rental truck company has a massive shortage of 26' trucks. I drove over 150 miles to pick up a truck a day late and had two days to load and clean the apartment. In the meantime, my brother insisted that I get another used tire for the right front, as the used Terra Grappler was nearly down to the secondary rubber. He did the legwork and found a set of four Wranglers with decent tread for $80, though we lacked the time to have any mounted. It's a good thing we didn't mount any before the almost 1000 mile drive. I finally had one mounted on the 4th and had zero issues with road noise or vibrations. Yesterday found me driving to pay a deposit on a rental house and after about twenty miles at highway the tire I'd just had mounted blew out without warning, breaking the fog light mount, bending the bumper, and taking a little paint from the fender. It could have been much worse, and honestly, I knew better having been a "tire guy" before enlisting. Even so, the tire went from riding perfectly to having a complete sidewall failure with no warning whatsoever. I stopped by Walmart and got a couple of new Wranglers for the front on the way back. I had the money before leaving Georgia but lacked the time and let my brother talk me into getting those four used tires. Needless to say, the three I didn't use were tossed as they weren't worth the risk. So, $80 in junk used tires, a need to order to a $65 fog light bracket, and a bit more character to my truck taught me a lesson: used tires simply aren't worth it if you are putting any real demands on them. The Wrangler that blew out might have lasted indefinitely on city streets, but the speed and heat of the interstate were too much to ask of it. Anyway, consider this a PSA of sorts. There's no telling what kind of life a tire spent prior to putting your life in its hands, unless that tire is new from a reputable shop. I, for one, will never buy another used tire.
  23. fm2176

    2x20V lawn mower

    I think this is a case of "damned if you do and damned if you don't". A lot of us were clamoring for a 20v Max mower, but the runtime has proven to be a disappointment for a lot of people. A bit more refinement--or a kit with 12Ah batteries--could remedy some of the negatives, but then we'd be upset over having to wait longer or to pay a premium for the larger batteries. Another example of this is the 18v adapter for stem batteries. DeWalt took its time before releasing one, despite a lot of pleas for such an adapter. Meanwhile they continue supporting 18v XRP tools, and when the DCA1820 is released a lot of people are upset because it came after they had switched to 20v Max or another brand altogether. I think the 5Ah battery mower kit was probably bundled with the expectation that buyers would either already be heavily invested in batteries or that they would be cutting only a very small yard. I'm still considering one as I have plenty of 4Ah to 6Ah batteries to run it with. I was sorely tempted to buy the 40v mower as it's currently priced at $299, but it seems to have the same runtime issues and I have no other 40v Max batteries.
  24. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    Found this earlier and figured I couldn't pass for the new 4Ah batteries and DCD996. I have one of these drills but purchased it well used from a pawn shop. Also have a DCD995, but for the price of the batteries alone I figured it to be a good buy. The bit and holder is a Makita I just used for my truck's air filter housing. With this drill I really think I'm set. I move into the new house on Tuesday and will start setting things up.
  25. fm2176

    Happy Independence Day USA

    I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday! I did a "baby boil"...only eight pounds of shrimp, six of potatoes, and five of sausage, with accompanying corn and such. Found a house in Northern VA this afternoon that I hope to rent. Garage, fenced in backyard, and almost 40 miles from work with access to both the interstate and lots of shopping (not to mention walking distance from both Lowe's and HD).